James M. Lindsay

The Water's Edge

Lindsay analyzes the politics shaping U.S. foreign policy and the sustainability of American power.

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The Obama-Caldéron Sudden Summit

by James M. Lindsay
March 1, 2011

Soldiers escort Julian Zapata Espinoza, a ring leader of a cell of Los Zetas, who was arrested in connection with the roadside killing of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent in Mexico last week. (Henry Romero/courtesy Reuters).

Mexican soldiers with Julian Zapata Espinoza, who was arrested in connection with the roadside killing of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent in Mexico last week. (Henry Romero/courtesy Reuters).

With President Obama set to meet with Mexican President Felipe Caldéron tomorrow in Washington, I sat down with the Honorable James Jones to discuss U.S.-Mexico relations. Jim served as U.S. ambassador to Mexico from 1993 to 1997. He was also a seven-term member of Congress from Oklahoma. We discussed what is likely to be on the agenda when Obama and Caldéron meet, the prospects for curtailing the flow of guns from the United States into Mexico, and whether the U.S. Joint Forces Command got it right in 2008 when it named Mexico as one of two countries—along with Pakistan—that could become a failed state.

Click here to view this video on YouTube.

So far the sudden summit has attracted little news coverage north of the border, which is a shame given the importance of the U.S.-Mexico relationship. The Americas Society offers a brief synopsis of the background events shaping the summit. Mexican officials have captured the man they say runs the drug gang that is accused of killing a U.S. border agent. The gun used to kill the agent and wound his partner has been traced back to Texas. Meanwhile drug-related violence continues in Mexico. Over the weekend fourteen men were killed in shootings along the U.S.-Mexico border, and another fourteen people were killed in attacks along Mexico’s Pacific coast.

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